Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dahlicious Lunches

Dahlicious Lunches... This is by far the trickiest part of my week in terms of being creative, healthful, and Dahlicious. A dear friend recently suggested that I do more on my blog to help put some ideas out there of lunches that can be brought to work.

First I will admit that I am at one extreme end of the spectrum in terms of planning and ahead-of-time execution. I can't really help it, it's just the way I'm programmed. For those of you who aren't that way it may seem so handy to have that compulsive instinct to immediately prepare tomorrow's lunch the minute you get home from work. For those of you who can identify with my anxiety you know that it's sometimes a curse instead of a blessing - literally I feel anxious if I haven't made my lunch and breakfast within the first 30 that I walk in the door from work.

Anywho, enough about my craziness, and more about lunch. Well, one last thing about my craziness - I will say that chopping and assembling and organizing my lunch at the end of a long work day is actually somewhat zen like for me. It may seem nuts but coming home and zoning out on step by step tasks in a quiet apartment is actually relaxing for me.

Now to the lunch ideas.

I pretty much have 3 options when it comes to bringing my lunch:
1.) A hodge podge of snacky tidbits
2.) Leftovers
3.) A proper lunch (this is rare)

** See ideas/examples of each of these three below...

1.) Hodge Podge Lunch:
  • Chopped salads - usually at the grocery store I buy some sort of  salad bed (think shaved Brussels  arugula, etc) as well as a bunch of fresh veggies. I'd suggest veggies that can be chopped and eaten raw, and pick different things each time, depending on what looks fresh or appealing in the moment. Also grab a few fresh herbs. This week here is what I bought in this category:
    • Shaved Brussels
    • Baby Spinach
    • Heirloom tomato
    • Persian Cucumbers
    • Avocado
    • Radishes
    • Carrots
    • Fresh Mozzarella
    • Fresh Mint
    • Fresh Basil
    • Black olives
  • Protein
    • Hard boiled eggs
    • Turkey
    • Salami
    • Tuna
    • Cottage Cheese
    • Yogurt
  • Sweets
This is a lunch consisting of a Salami/Veggie Salad, Cuties, and Trail Mix

Here is a lunch wehre I went crazy with Tupperware... Lord only knows what's in these...

Here is a lunch of LOTS of chopped veggies, crumbled Feta on the side

Yesterday's lunch of turkey and Shaved Brussels salad with Carrots, Radishes, Fresh Mozzarella  Basil, and Vegan Balsamic Vinaigrette

Today's Lunch! Baby Spinach Salad with Chopped Tomato, Cucumber, Radish, Basil, Shaved Parmesan, Black Olives, Olive Oil, Lime, Black Pepper

Also with today's Salad I brought Tuna, Hard Boiled Egg, and a Protein Bite. My breakfast of Greek Yogurt and Kashi is on the right!

2.) Leftover Lunch:
  • I'm actually not sure how to suggest leftovers as they are generally just whatever is leftover from the meal you made for dinner the night before. Leftovers can be planned or random - sometimes I purposefully make extra food so that I have it for a lunch option, or sometimes I just don't finish everything I make and it ends up working out to bring it for lunch.
Here is a lunch consisting of leftover Roasted Tuna, Veggie Pasta, and a side salad of Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella:

Here is a lunch consisting of leftover Teriyaki Chicken, Baby Bok Choy, and Brown Rice:

3.) Proper Lunch:
  • In my mind a proper lunch is a sandwich or wrap or soup or something that is mainly just ONE focus piece with perhaps a little side. I don't make sandwiches all that often as I try not to have many carbs at lunch but if I do I usually make something on a hearty Ezikiel bread. I have also found that those sturdy breads hold up well when you make a sandwich the night before even if it has condiments on it. Here are some ideas for Sandwiches and Wraps:
    • Tuna Salad with Sweet Pickles, Celery, and sliced tomato
    • Egg Salad with Sweet Pickles, Avocado, and butter lettuce
    • Turkey with Cheddar, Avocado, Arugula, & Sriracha
    • Heirloom Tomato with Fresh Mozzarella, Basil, Balsamic Glaze
    • Roast Beef with Shredded Carrots, Tomato, Cheddar, & Spicy Brown Mustard
Here is a lunch with the Turkey Sandwich listed above

I hope this helps those of you out there who cannot seem to figure out what the heck to bring yourself for lunch. I know it's hard but you will feel infinitely better about your health, and your bank account, if you try to bring your lunch at least a few times a week. I usually bring mine all but one day and go out to grab something on that special off day. It does help to be organized and in a routine, but you can also stock pile these things on Sunday. During the winter I often take a few hours on Sunday to make a soup for the week. I put it in separate containers that I can grab and run with in the morning. It's simple too if you organize some snacks into bags or Tupperware on Sunday that will last you through the week.

I'll be sure to continue posting lunch ideas! Hope yall have a Dahlicious Tuesday Lunch!!

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